Gore's Broken Pledge Excused; Aunt Jemina Thomas; Actress a "Huge" Hillary Fan
1) On the Microsoft breakup ruling, ABC noted how much investors have lost, CBS focused on how Silicon Valley competitors are "glad to see...a big bully cut down to size" and NBC claimed "analysts say past anti-trust actions have been good for consumers."
2) ABC and CBS ran stories pegged to how Al Gore broke his pledge on soft money ads, but both rationalized and excused Gore. "People who are fighting for campaign finance reform say neither Bush nor Gore has a monopoly on hypocrisy," declared ABC's John Cochran.
3) Interviewing Hillary Trap author Laura Ingraham, Katie Couric portrayed Hillary as a victim of how people project their views of the role of women and demanded: "Can you really pretend to understand the complexities and dynamics of someone's marriage?"
4) Time's Jack E. White asserted that running a cover "portrait of Clarence Thomas wearing an Aunt Jemima-style handkerchief" on his head was "the uncompromising voice that made Emerge the nation's best black newsmagazine for the past seven years."
The Microsoft breakup ruling topped the three broadcast network evening shows with multiple stories Wednesday night. All opened with a basic rundown of the decision and Microsoft's reaction followed by feature pieces which each offered a unique angle for the night on the case.
ABC stressed how much Microsoft stockholders have lost, quoting one observer who joked about how Janet Reno saved people $20 on Windows while costing them $20,000 in their 401k. CBS focused on how "in Silicon Valley they're glad to see what they consider to be a big bully cut down to size." NBC reviewed anti-trust history and relayed how "analysts say past anti-trust actions have been good for consumers."
NBC Nightly News falsely claimed an exclusive with Microsoft's Bill Gates. On-screen the word "Exclusive" appeared above the Nightly News graphic during Katie Couric's interview, but Gates also appeared on the CBS Evening News and CNN's Moneyline during the same hour as well as later on ABC's Nightline. I guess it depends on what the definition of "exclusive" is.
Here are some highlights of what distinguished ABC, CBS and NBC stories on Wednesday night, June 7:
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Terry Moran handled the details of the ruling before Betsy Stark took on how the stock is down from $120 at the end of 1999 to $71 now as "$247 billion in value disappeared." Most hurt, those in the Seattle area and the New York State Teachers retirement fund has lost $472 million just this year. In a soundbite, Michael Murphy, Editor of Technology Investing, passed along: "There's a big joke around, of course, 'thank you Janet Reno for saving me $20 of my Microsoft Windows, how about the $20,000 I lost in my 401k?'"
-- CBS Evening News. Sharyl Attkisson reviewed the breakup order and reaction to it. CBS then ran excerpts of a taped interview by Dan Rather with Bill Gates. Rather asked for Gates to react to the judge's charge of about monopolistic practices, wondered why not make the two company idea work and inquired about how big a financial hit he expected stockholders to take.
Rather then intoned: "Microsoft is unhappy of course, but it's a different story down in Silicon Valley, the high-tech hotbed south of San Francisco. It is home to many victims of what the judge concluded are Microsoft's unfair and illegal business tactics. CBS's John Blackstone reports in Silicon Valley they're glad to see what they consider to be a big bully cut down to size."
Blackstone attended a "conference of Internet visionaries" in California and discovered in the future Microsoft software won't be used to access the Internet, undercutting the rationale for a breakup, but Blackstone also delivered two points not often heard in the media: How Microsoft has suppressed innovation and how its poorly designed software has made programs vulnerable to viruses.
Blackstone opened over video of Sun Microsystems chief Scott McNealy joking about the breakup of Microsoft before Blackstone explained the emergence of the more reliable Linux, though he didn't mention the operating system's name: "In the vision of the future on display here, Microsoft is no longer in the driver's seat. It's a future in which everything from automobiles to refrigerators can connect to the Internet and the Microsoft dominated personal computer fades in importance."
A month after the May 5
CyberAlert noted how the I LOVE YOU virus, contrary to media generalities
about hitting "e-mail," only impacted Microsoft's Outlook on
computers with Microsoft's Internet Explorer installed, CBS News caught
up: "While Microsoft argues that its breakup will stifle innovation,
many believe its monopoly slowed technology's advance. Jim Warren, a
Silicon Valley pioneer, refuses to use Microsoft's popular e-mail
-- NBC Nightly News opened with Pete Williams on the ruling followed by substitute anchor Katie Couric's non-exclusive interview with Bill Gates. She asked, "will consumers be the ultimate winners here?" and why not go straight to the Supreme Court. She also wondered if Gates is hoping the appeals process drags on and the Bush administration is "more sympathetic to Microsoft." She last asked if Gates felt the charges had "tarnished your personal reputation?"
Mike Jensen then told viewers the case would have minimum impact as "most analysts say it won't damage the economy." Michael Miller of PC Magazine predicted more choices from more companies. Jensen asserted: "Analysts say past anti-trust actions have been good for consumers, going all the way back to John D. Rockefeller and the breakup of the Standard Oil Company, which created more competition, lower prices for oil. The AT&T breakup, setting off a wave of innovation, competition, cutting some long distance prices in half."
ABC and CBS on Wednesday night ran stories pegged to how Al Gore broke his pledge not to allow the DNC to use soft money for advertising until after the GOP did first, but both rationalized and excused Gore as they blamed the system and insisted Bush would do something just as bad. NBC Nightly News ignored the launch of DNC-sponsored "issue" ads promoting Gore.
"People who are fighting for campaign finance reform say neither Bush nor Gore has a monopoly on hypocrisy," declared ABC's John Cochran before quoting a liberal activist. "Faced with sagging polls," Cochran concluded, "it was not a hard decision to use soft money." CBS's Bill Plante blamed the system and insisted what Bush will do is just as bad: "Everyone agrees the system is corrupting politics....Today it was the Democrats, but Republicans are poised to launch their own air war."
John Cochran opened his
piece by showing clips of the DNC ad which "looks like an ad for Al
Gore," but really is an "issues" ad paid for by the DNC
thanks to soft money donations. Cochran interjected: "Wait a minute,
Gore said only a few months ago he would not use soft money."
Cochran then used a
liberal Democrat as his arbiter and condemned both candidates instead of
just the one who broke a promise: "People who are fighting for
campaign finance reform say neither Bush nor Gore has a monopoly on
For the CBS Evening
News, Phil Jones filed a "Follow the Dollar" piece. He too began
with clips from one of the ads which is part of the DNC's $25 million ad
blitz. Plante noted how more than half the ad has either Gore's picture
or voice. Plante reminded viewers: "Just three months ago Gore read
an e-mail challenge to George W. Bush to reject the use of soft money
issue ads if the Republicans did."
After noting how New
Jersey Democrat Jon Corzine spent $33 million and outside groups are
spending $5 million in an Ohio Supreme Court race, Plante turned to an
advocate of one solution as his expert: "None of this surprises
Senator John McCain, the campaign finance reform maverick."
Interviewing Gail Sheehy, author of the pro-Hillary book, Hillary's Choice, on the November 29, 1999 Dateline Stone Phillips empathetically inquired: "Of all the pain she has been through, what do you think hurt the most?"
Wednesday morning this week Laura Ingraham, author of The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places," got a more challenging welcome on Today from Katie Couric who portrayed Hillary as a victim of how people project onto her their views of the role of women. Couric also demanded: "Can you really pretend to understand the complexities and dynamics of someone's marriage?"
Couric set up the June 7 interview, as transcribed by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens: "There aren't many figures in American life let alone politics who provoke the range of powerful emotions both positive and negative that Hillary Rodham Clinton does. She's been the topic of countless talk shows, newspaper columns and dinner table debates. Well now she's the subject of conservative commentator and MSNBC political analyst Laura Ingraham's first book, The Hillary Trap, Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places."
question: "Why do you think Hillary Clinton elicits such powerful
emotions? Why is she such a polarizing figure?"
"Most women, Katie, I'm sure you can relate to this. Most women, you
know, wouldn't want their daughter to have to stand by a man all those
years in order get some payoff down the road. Most women don't get a
Senate seat at the end of that kind of life. They are abandoned, they're
destitute. They're certainly financially impaired but Hillary, it might
actually work for her!"
Couric later argued: "Let me ask you about running for Senate. I mean you criticize her for glomming onto her husband and getting her political power from him, now she's running for Senate, independently, would be elected, if she is elected by the voters. Isn't she doing what you think she should've done all along?"
In this week's Time magazine, national correspondent Jack E. White, an occasional panelist on Inside Washington, lamented the demise of Emerge magazine which had run a "portrait of Clarence Thomas wearing an Aunt Jemima-style handkerchief on a 1993 cover." White admired how "it crystallized the disgust that many African Americans had begun to feel about the ultraconservative legal philosophy of the U.S. Supreme Court's only black member."
From the MRC's MagazineWatch, here's the item on White's diatribe:
Don't think Time always disparages negative campaigning. Jack E. White lamented "A Militant Voice Silenced" -- the demise of Emerge, a liberal black monthly being discontinued by a partnership including BET, which bought it from Time Inc: "No matter what George Curry accomplishes during the remainder of his journalistic career, he will be remembered for one thing: he was the editor who slapped a portrait of Clarence Thomas wearing an Aunt Jemima-style handkerchief on a 1993 cover of Emerge magazine. That shocking image outraged Thomas supporters, of course, but it crystallized the disgust that many African Americans had begun to feel about the ultraconservative legal philosophy of the U.S. Supreme Court's only black member." White wrote, "That's the uncompromising voice that made Emerge the nation's best black newsmagazine for the past seven years."
Other items in the June 6 MagazineWatch by the MRC's Paul Smith and Tim Graham about the June 12 issues:
1. All three news magazines featured
stories highlighting George W. Bush's handling of the death penalty in
Texas and the growing movement supporting DNA testing to prove innocence
or guilt. Newsweek had a cover-story crusade, with Jonathan Alter
concluding, "if we can't do it right, then we must ask ourselves if
it's worth doing at all."
To read these items, as
posted by MRC Webmaster Andy Szul, go to:
Clinton has a "huge" fan in actress Christine Lahti, star of
Lifetime's TV adaption of feminist Wendy Wasserstein's play, An
American Daughter, about a woman who is treated unfairly by the political
process because of her gender. In an appearance on HBO's Dennis Miller
Live last Friday to plug the movie, Lahti, probably best known for her
role until recently as a doctor on CBS's Chicago Hope, proclaimed of
MRC intern Michael Ferguson transcribed the relevant portion of the June 2 interview on the 11:30pm ET live HBO show with Miller, who as first expresses doubts about Hillary but is soon impressed by Lahti's "cogent defense" of her:
"Now, what about if we do [elect a woman President], I guess the
person most people think will be, or could be the first woman president is
Here's how the
Lifetime Web site summarized Lahti's movie which debuted on Monday
these upcoming repeat times:
One thing I forgot to mention in the June 7 CyberAlert on the National Enquirer photos of Bryant Gumbel and Matt Lauer getting lap dances from transsexuals at a New York City "drag queen" restaurant: In one photo, a bare-chested Bryant Gumbel and one of the he/she dancers in a bikini both have a hand around an aerosol-type size can of what appears to be whipped cream.
My question: Who squirted first and where did they squirt?
As I wrote yesterday, the June 13 issue of The National Enquirer is definitely worth the $2.69 price just to see these photos. -- Brent Baker 
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